You Talkin' to Me? Seven Musical Moments in Martin Scorsese Films

Categories: Lists

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We scoured the Internet, like we do for at least nine hours a day, for an excuse to embed Scorsese clips into one, organized blog post. Lucky for us, we found that timeliness was applicable: the 35th anniversary edition of Taxi Driver is out on Blu-Ray! We'll probably stick to our used copy that we picked up in Huntsville, but that doesn't mean we can't do a list to celebrate the anniversary.

Scorsese is known for using music to contribute to his storytelling process. He was the executive producer for a seven part series about the birth of blues music and directed his own documentary about the Delta blues artists like John Lee Hooker. He also directed "one of the best concert films of all time", The Last Waltz. So, dude likes movies and music, a lot. Let us mention that while doing the research for this article was fun. We basically sat and rewatched our favorite joints. Finding some of the clips on YouTube was a bit harder. Feel free to let us know what your personal favorite musical moments in Marty's history are.

Robert De Niro as Johnny Boy in Mean Streets (1973)
Rolling Stones, "Jumpin Jack Flash"

Ok, this is, hands down, one of the best entrances in the history of cinema. Yes, that's a risky statement to make, but what could possibly be cooler than De Niro in a hat, walking into a bar in slow motion with two hippie breezies under his arms? We've only met one person in our lives with that kind of swag.

Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver (1976)
Jackson Browne, "Late For The Sky"

It's a short clip, but it truly is what the caption reads as: classic. Can you tell that we're huge, unapologetic De Niro fans yet?

Tom Cruise as Vincent Lauria in The Color Of Money (1986)
Warren Zevon, "Werewolves of London"

THIS SCENE. Although it always pains us to see the aged Cool Hand Luke alongside that douchebag Tom Cruise, you have to hand it to him...he makes you want to be him in that moment. It should be noted, the clip begins with another great song, "It's in the Way That You Use It" by Eric Clapton.

Robert De Niro as Ace Rothstein in Casino (1995)
Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart, "I Ain't Superstitious"

"They never know what hit them; and if and when they do find out that they just got zapped by a cattle prod, they wish they really did have a heart attack." This song was originally recorded by Howlin' Wolf in 1961, but Jeff Beck's version was number 86 on Rolling Stones' "100 Greatest Guitar Songs Of All Time." Hm. Also, Casino used the word "fuck" a total of 422 times. We think this might be a reason why it's in our top five. We've loved that word since we were sneaking episodes of South Park in elementary school.

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25 comments
Tony
Tony

I like Roy Buchanan's Sweet Dreams at the end of The Departed.

Matt R
Matt R

First thing that comes to mind is Layla from Goodfellas - while the camera pans over all of DeNiro's murder victims. Very Surprised that it wasn't on the list. From the list, I'd have to go with the Dropkick Murphys - The Departed was the first time i'[d ever heard that song, and it's been my cell ringtone for a few years now.

Tyler Pepper
Tyler Pepper

One of my favorites is "Atlantis" by Donovan. It starts playing when Pesci and De Niro start beating down Billy Bats in the bar in Goodfellas. Still one of my favorite scenes in the movie. I always wondered how Scorsese knew to use that song there, it has nothing at all to do with the subject matter but it fits so perfectly into the scene.

Gijoe701
Gijoe701

Procal Harem's Whiter Shade of Pale in his Life Lessons segment of New York Stories.

Mei-Hsin
Mei-Hsin

I really liked "This Bitter End" in Shutter Island during the dream sequence with Leonardo DiCaprio and Michelle Williams's characters.

Wortmanjuly6
Wortmanjuly6

Both opera scenes from "The Age of Innocence."

Guest
Guest

I'm with Dominique. New York, New York with Liza belting out the title tune doesn't make the list? All right, I'll cut you some slack because it's possible you haven't gotten around to seeing this film yet, but the montage in Raging Bull set to Mascagni's Cavelleria Rusticana is iconic and its absence here is puzzling.

Ryanhyde89
Ryanhyde89

the title sequence from Raging Bull, classical music but still amazingthe bar fight in Mean Streets to "Please Mr. Postman"no particular scene, but Peter Gabriel's whole score to Last Temptation of ChristMartin Scorsese is so fucking awesome!!!

Guest
Guest

layla...goodfellas...huh?

Polly Esther
Polly Esther

How you forgot "Then He Kissed Me" from "Good Fellas" blows my mind. Very pleased to see the Casino clip in there, though. :)

Abc
Abc

You forgot the best musical moment of all: Robert DeNiro in Goodfellas smoking a cigarette to the tune of Sunshine of Your Love. Hands down the best musical moment in a Scorsese movie ever.

Dominique
Dominique

Nothing from NEW YORK, NEW YORK? Blasphemy!

Loakman77
Loakman77

Then He Kissed Me during the tracking shot at the Copa

Fulmer
Fulmer

It's worth noting that Scorsese was the editor on Woodstock and later roomed with Robbie Robertson (The Band), who entered into his tight circle of frequent collaborators. His use of Pop and Rock and Roll standards is incredible, but the the original scores for Taxi Driver (Bernard Hermann's last film score) & The Last Temptation of Christ (Peter Gabriel) are my favorites.

Donnie
Donnie

I like Sid Vicious "My Way" at the end of Goodfellas

Yaowa603
Yaowa603

"The House of the Rising Sun" in Casino. Favorite scene. The Mafia tightning up loose ends, whacking people, then it shows Ginger's fate. This could not have been done any better.

ajvent
ajvent

Where the hell is "Sunshine of Your Love" from Goodfellas??

Russellmania XXV
Russellmania XXV

DeNiro's menencing stare in that scene was epic. You could just sense that he's planning something really bad...

Hast
Hast

"Brah. The Departed is epic, brah."

"Brah"? Where did you get it in your head that people from Boston talk like surfers from SoCal? The only time you'll heard Boston hooligans utter the word "brah" is when they're bragging about what they did to a trashy drunk broad at the bar the previous night.

mason
mason

the piano coda, natch.

mason
mason

"Layla" in GoodFellas.

Julia Olivarez
Julia Olivarez

The Henry Hill-being-followed-by-a-helicopter scenes in "Goodfellas"/"Jump Into The Fire," Harry Nilsson. Impossible to hear that song anymore without looking up.

Tyler Pepper
Tyler Pepper

"What Is Life" by George Harrison is also used during those scenes too. Love them both.

CraigHlavaty
CraigHlavaty

The "Whip It" Scene from Casino is my favorite. The carpet, the feet, the Rickles.

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